Thursday, 31 March 2016

A Morris-Wood Wedding : Saving Money on Your Wedding Photographer

Last week's blog was all about the importance of booking a professional wedding photographer for your big day. So it might surprise you to see that this week's wedding blog is about how to save money on your wedding photographer. I appreciate that a professional photographer isn't in everyone's budget, but if you want to, there are ways to make it more affordable. So here are my tips for booking an incredible photographer and maybe saving a little bit on them too!

1. Book a mid-week wedding.

This one goes for any supplier. A mid-week wedding is always going to be cheaper, because there just isn't the same demand for a Tuesday as there is a Saturday. The vast majority of weddings happen on a weekend, usually a Saturday, so your dream photographer is going to be in high demand for weekends. You'll find that everything from your venue, to your photobooth and florists can be cheaper on a weekday, because it's a day they might not usually be working. Photographers might just do you a deal!

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

2. Book an out of season wedding.

Wedding season is considered April-September, and is when all mayhem breaks loose for a photographer. They might have a wedding every Saturday and Sunday for all of those months! The winter months in particular can be a tough time for a wedding photographer, so by booking a winter wedding you could find you save yourself some pennies.

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

3. Book a 'digital only' package.

Most photographers offer a variety of different packages including photo albums, prints and more. A lot of photographers will offer a digital only package, which means that you don't get any prints or photo albums included, but instead get a USB stick of the edited images. You save money by making your own photo albums at a later date when you inevitably have more money than you do in the run up to your wedding. I'm personally opting for this sort of package to save pennies!

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

4. Ask your photographer if they have a payment plan.

You will have to pay your photographer in full before or on the day of your wedding, but to make it easier for you, why not see if they can offer a payment plan instead? If you book your wedding 2 years before and book your photographer at the same time, you can make your payments much easier on yourself by paying monthly. The temptation to spend any of your photographer money is gone then too!

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

5. Book a half/part day package.

Most photographers give options for booking less than a full day. Instead of having all your bridal prep photographed and the night do, you could book your photographer to photograph your ceremony and group photos straight afterwards, with time for your couple portraits too. Booking your photographer for 4 hours instead of 10 or more is a much more viable option.

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

6. Enter wedding blog competitions.

I've seen some of my favourite photographers offer full day packages as prizes through big wedding blogs, so be sure to keep an eye out and enter whenever you can. You never know what luck you might have! My photographer Donna of Clickclick Bang recently ran a competition to win your whole day on her personal facebook page, so keep your eye on social media.

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

7. Keep an eye out for referral discounts!

Sometimes popular wedding blogs have deals running with suppliers they love, that if their name is mentioned upon a booking, you can get a discount or a certain amount of money off. Check out the popular wedding blogs and their recommended wedding supplier lists and you might just find yourself a sneaky way to save money! Your photographer may also offer discounts on prints and more if you refer clients to them as well, so if you love your photographer and know people getting married, send them in the right direction and you might be able to earn credit towards prints for example.

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

8. Book as far in advance as you can.

Most photographers will reassess their prices on a yearly basis, and this usually means those prices will go up. The sooner you have your date and you know who you want to book, get it done! You could potentially be saving hundreds of pounds by booking 2 years before your wedding, and therefore before 2 more potential price increases.

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

9. Let your family buy their own prints.

Wedding albums and prints can be really expensive, and often couples feel obliged to buy their nearest and dearest prints. It can really ramp up the cost of your photographer, so it might be worth having a difficult chat with those around you to explain that as much as you adore them and wish you could treat them, it simply isn't something you can afford to do right now.

Copyright Donna of ClickClick Bang

If you have any other tips to share, do let me know!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Introducing Lemmy Katmister!

As some of you who follow me on my various social media may know, on the 29th February we very suddenly lost sweet little one eyed Sinbad. He became very ill, very quickly, and died in my arms. I was heartbroken. He was my fur child, and it was so unexpected, I didn't know what to do. I am mourning the loss of Sinbad every day, and Stu suggested that I might like to adopt another cat. We have always had Ashen our dog, and two cats, Stitch and Patches. Sinbad was our most recent addition and sadly only lived in his furever home for 9 months. I would like to think those last 9 months were the best he had in his life, and he died purring, in my arms, knowing he was loved.

And so, I began to look at rescue cats. Sinbad had had such a hard life, and being able to give him all of our love was wonderful, and I wanted to do that for another cat.

And so, I introduce Lemmy Katmister.

These are his cute pink beans. Such cute beans!

He bloody loves belly rubs. I've never known a cat love them like he does!

That smushy little face. He's so cute. Look at those yellow eyes!

Gorgeous Lemmy. I knew he was the one as soon as I saw him on facebook. We adopted him from Cuddles Cat Rescue which is an entirely donation run charity. I've set up a monthly direct debit to donate to them, please consider donating to them too! They have a facebook group you can support them at here. And if you want to set up a direct debit to them too, here are their details (feel free to ring them to confirm them!)

Lemmy wasn't always called Lemmy. His first name was Manchini. He didn't know his name, or show any recognition of it, so we decided to change it and teach him his new much cooler name. 

Originally he lived in a home with over 20 un-neutered cats, and about 10 un-neutered dogs. He was one of 9 they were allowed to take. They had those 9 spayed and neutered, wormed etc and then they were ready to adopt. Someone else adopted Lemmy first. They returned him after 6 hours because he hissed at their cat. Now, if you know anything about cats, you'd know that was perfectly normal! It's a big deal to be taken somewhere totally new, and meet another cat that they don't know. I suspect that actually, their cat hissed at Lemmy, as he met our 2 cats and Ashen the dog within 24 hours and there was no hissing at all.

I couldn't resist sharing a cute video of him. He's so fussy!

When you adopt a rescue cat, you need to have some patience and introduce them slowly to any other furbabies you may already have, it's a big deal for them! Little Lemmy has a broken tail which is one of his quirks. It's broken about half to two thirds towards the end of his tail so will need keeping an eye on but it doesn't bother him so far.

Lemmy likes to be the little spoon and sleeps curled up in my arms or under the quilt with me. He's so adorable. I miss Sinbad so much, but knowing I have helped another kitty find their furever home and am giving him the first love and fusses he has ever had sure helps.

I fully expect Lemmy to basically end up in all my YouTube videos, because he follows me around and wants to be fussed all the time! So expect to see a lot more of him.

Much love,
Kitty xxxxx

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Photoshoot with Paigey Christie

I've had the gorgeous Paigey Christie on my facebook for a little while, and when she posted some lush new selfies I told her to come and get in front of my camera instead. And as luck would have it, she happened to be only an hour away from me at that particular moment so a few messages later, and the next day she was on a train to come and work with me! I love it when a surprise shoot happens!

As it was a rather last minute shoot and Paigey wasn't expecting a photoshoot, I provided the outfits from my own wardrobe, which I think worked out rather well. Depending on where you work, this may well be considered NSFW due to lingerie and implied nudity.

Pastel rainbow tutu - Tutu Factory*
Rainbow flower crown - Tutu Factory*
Bra - model's own

We went for a very un-Paige like look to start with, a cute pastel rainbow look! Isn't that tutu just gorgeous?

She's like a beautiful candy Princess.

As we shot such a cutesy look, something totally the other end of the spectrum was needed....

Black tutu - Tutu Factory*
Gothica flower crown - Tutu Factory*
Pentagram - Malice

Isn't Paige the perfect vampy gothic goddess?

And last up, we went for a bright lip and a bra with jeans. Very reminiscent of the old 90's jeans adverts.

I loved shooting with Paige. Photographing other plus size babes is so important to me, and as a photographer I feel it is my responsibility to ensure my work is diverse and celebrates all kinds of beauty.

And if you want to work with me, get in touch! for booking.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

*these items were gifted to me in my role as plus size brand ambassador for Tutu Factory.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

A Morris-Wood Wedding : The Importance of Your Wedding Photographer

Like a lot of people, I only plan to get married the once. It's going to be one of, if not the biggest day of my life, and I want it preserved perfectly in photos to keep forever. Your photos are such a big part of the day, and picking the right photographer is so so important. I've seen a trend recently in magazines and various media outlets suggesting that actually, rather than spend money on an incredible professional photographer, you should just get a mate to do it!

There are a whole bunch of things wrong with that suggestion, and I'm going to talk about why you should book a real, actual, wedding photographer, and the reasons people usually give for not doing it.

Photography by Dave Fallon Photography
There was an ugly sign on the lawns in this photo, not anymore with a pro!

1. Wedding photography is expensive.

Damn right it is! So first off, when you book a wedding photographer, you aren't just paying for that one day. You are paying for years of skill, training, practice, editing and love for their job. Photographing a wedding is bloody terrifying. And I know that, because I've done it! It is the most important day of most people's lives, and they are trusting you to give them because photos back, so wouldn't you want to give that job to an experience professional? Editing your wedding photos takes hours and hours. Every single photo needs assessing and checking, and processing and perfecting. A raw iPhone or camera photo is not the same thing a wedding photographer gives you. Do you have any idea how long it takes to put together an album? To make sure it flows perfectly and tells a story?You are paying for skills, time, experience and love. Your wedding photos are forever. Saving a couple of quid in the long run isn't worth it.

Photography by Naomi Jane Photography
That rainbow! It takes serious skill to capture that and the rest of the scene so well.

2. Having a friend do it means a better rapport and feeling more comfortable.

So not true. This is why meeting your wedding photographer before hand is so important. A good wedding photographer will make you feel like a million bucks, seamlessly blend into the background for all those perfect moments, and also make you comfortable. Meet them before, skype with them, book an engagement shoot. There is a photographer to fit you. Our wedding photographer Donna of ClickClick Bang Photography is a tattooed zombie loving bad ass, so I knew she was perfect for us! It's not all stuffy men in suits now, you can find someone you click with easily.

Photography by Emma and Rich
Smoke bombs and off camera flash, amazing!

3. Having a friend do it means you can see the photos right away!

Yup. You can see their unedited, not properly composed, not correctly exposed photos right away! The reason you have to wait to get your photos back from a professional is because they have to edit every single photo to get that look you want. Wedding photography is mostly seasonal work, April-September is prime season and so so busy for photographers, so a little patience is worth it for those photos that you will treasure forever.

The photo below is a panorama made up of 45 images! So much time and work for a beautiful photograph full of depth. Well worth some patience.

Photography by ClickClick Bang

4. It's convenient! If the person taking the photos is already a guest they are already at the event.

I've been on the other end of this one, as a relative who was asked to take photos at a wedding, and let me just say, it bloody sucks. You don't get to enjoy the wedding or experience it, you miss out on all the moments you are supposed to be enjoying and being a part of. I actually think it's really unfair to ask a guest to do this. You invite someone to your wedding to be a part of your day, not to have to work all day. They should be dancing with you, not snapping away watching.

Photography by Colin Sanderson
The light in this is just at the perfect location, due to an off camera flash! Those hair lights.

5. You can always edit the photos with apps after.

.... I can't even begin to explain how wrong this one is. Sure Instagram is fun for your selfies, but the resolution of most photos put through apps is so small you could never print them at a decent size. You are not going to be able to do a professional photoshop edit on a photo through an app, especially when the photo wasn't of professional quality to begin with. You will end up with grainy, low resolution photos with a gimmicky edit, instead of a beautiful photo that will stand the test of time that you could show future generations.

Photography by Adam De-Ste-Croix
This was taken as a surprise streak from a wedding guest into the sea! A perfect hilarious moment captured forever.

6. A non-professional gives you a different perspective!

Do you know why a photographer doesn't use a GoPro with it's fish eye lens? Or hold the camera at a jaunty angle? It's because it's a gimmick. It might be fun now, but in 10 years time you'll be cringing at that extreme wide angle, and that selective colouring. Your wedding photography should last forever, not follow all the fun social media trends.

No amateur is going to get you something so spectacular.

7. It's more special if someone you know takes the photos.

Sure, if someone you love takes the photos you can think of them fondly... but what if it all goes wrong and you fall out with them? What if they don't take the photos you expected and instead disappoint you? Your relationship will never be the same again, and it's just not worth losing someone you love over. Can you imagine having to look at photos your brother's ex wife took who cheated on him a bunch for example? I know I wouldn't be able to look at them the same. This won't happen if you hire a neutral professional.

Photography by Simon Dewey
Such a cute moment, a pro knows what to keep an eye out for.

When you hire a professional, you have back up. If your photographer is ill, they can and will get you a replacement for them at super short notice. If their memory cards corrupt they will be much more likely to be able to recover those photos for you. If it rains all day and is super gloomy, they'll have lights and ways to work around it. They have insurance to cover themselves and their equipment saving you any headaches. They have back up cameras and external lighting, so if your drunk Aunt spills their pint on their camera, they have another one! Can your mate with a camera say that?

Photography by Dom Clark

Wedding photography is about moments. Capturing all those sweet exchanges, those laughs and the joy. It's being daft and having an idea that works! Like in the shot above by Dom Clark, what an ace concept for a shot of the groomsmen!

Photography by

True art in the form of wedding photography. The rain and the light make this, a non-pro couldn't have done this, especially not in those conditions.

Next week I'll talk about how to book a professional photographer and still save money!

Much love,

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Radioactive Unicorn Nail Polish Pretties!

I've blogged previously about my love of Radioactive Unicorn, and I couldn't resist placing another order when they announced some new colours! I'm desperate to find the perfect colour for my wedding, so it's the perfect excuse to try them all.....

Satan is Super Kawaii #duh

They have the most fun names ever! Photographed in tungsten and daylight, the glitter in this is so fine and reflects so prettily. It's a really great alternative to a black, just more glam!

Creepin' it real

This is a gorgeous true silver, mega glittery! I took a more out of focus photo to really try to show off how glittery this is.

Kathy the original vintage doll (red)
Best Witches (purple)

Possibly an odd colour combo, but I was so excited to receive my orders that I figured this was the easiest way to try them out as quickly as I could! The out of focus photo really shows how intense the sparkle of these is. Photos just don't do them justice!

His Darkness Was Our Light (purple)
Man's Ruin (pale pink)

Photographed in tungsten and natural light, I couldn't resist combining these together! The mix of colours is just incredible. The blue really works in the pale pink, and makes it a real wedding contender, something blue and all that! The purple has hints of pink and blue too which is divine.

Killing Joke (spotty)
Sweet Zombie Jesus (green)

These two were just made for each other. Killing Joke is a nod to the traditional Joker colours and is so different from anything I've ever seen! This was 3 layers, so you can build up the spots of colour, or use it as a top coat with a single layer if you like. Sweet Zombie Jesus has a green foil in it that is awesome and shines so beautifully.

Captain Cadaver

I have never seen a nail varnish quite like this. A red, with both tiny black glitters, and larger ones. This is 3 coats with a top coat, and it has such good coverage. You can kind of swoosh the larger black pieces about to get a more even coverage which is neat. It's really spooky looking and fun!

Most of Radioactive Unicorn's range is on limited runs, so grab them while they are in stock or miss out! A good top coat is a must to really show off how glossy and wonderful these nail polishes are.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Sunday, 20 March 2016

A Casual Tutu OOTD : With Navabi & Tutu Factory

 I decided to set myself a challenge. A challenge to style a tutu in a more 'casual' look. Nothing really glam, something you could maybe wear everyday. Because who doesn't want to rock a tutu everyday?!

Plaid Cotton Shirt - Navabi*
Tutu - Tutu Factory*
Boots - Yours Clothing

Why yes. I am the most awkward person ever. I love a good plaid shirt, and Emily in Pretty Little Liars has me really loving them even more right now. This seemed like it could be a cute combo and I think I'm right! Navabi are a high end plus size brand, and you can really tell in the materials and quality of their brands. This shirt is 100% cotton. I don't think I've ever even worn something that is 100% cotton before and it is so soft and comfy.

The tutu is all black, with an elasticated waist with a tiny bow on it, and no underskirt/lining. I wore it with leggings because hey, it's cold! Plus, with no lining you are definitely flashing more flesh with this tutu. Perfect for a saucy night out, not so much for the casual look I was going for.

A quick change of top and another casual outfit. I love the orange stripes in this Navabi top. Sadly this is no longer available, but there are a lot of lush orange colours in their range for Spring. In both of these looks I wore the tutu low on my hips rather than higher on my waist like I usually would, to show the different silhouette it can offer.

I have become seriously obsessed with tutus and officially need everything Tutu Factory sell. They have a plus size range up to a size 32 as standard, and will also custom make any tutu you want, in any size you want. How cool is that?! I love seeing indy brands doing good in their sizes. Their prices are so reasonable, and they offer a discount on bulk orders... you know you need a tutu or two right?

For my next tutu look I think I'm gonna have to go totally different.....

Much love,
Kitty xxxxx

*these items were gifted to me for review purposes. In no way does this impact upon my opinions, which are entirely my own.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

A Morris-Wood Wedding : Using Indy Suppliers

One of the things that is really important to me about our wedding suppliers, is that wherever I can I want to use independent and small businesses. As someone who works for a small business, I know how important it is to buy local and indy. It can mean some extra expense because their products aren't being mass produced in factories, but the extra care and love they can give is worth it. Using indy supplies also means more uniqueness in your wedding! If you aren't buying off the high street, there is much less chance of someone you know having used similar in the wedding, or even the exact same thing.

Buying independent means you are supporting individuals, rather than giant, faceless corporations. It isn't someone dodging tax and paying fat cats, it is a family being able to pay their mortgage. It is someone paying all their bills on time. You are helping someone creative be able to support themselves, and that is bloody amazing.

So I'm going to share with you my suppliers! Many of these are people I know and love, and have been lucky enough to work with. Hell, one of them is even one of my bridesmaids too!

Alivya V Free in Creations by Liv Free hair accessories, makeup by Liv Free, photographed by me.

So not only is the gorgeous Liv one of my bridesmaid, she is also my hair and makeup artist on the big day itself! I have worked with her on many photoshoots and she is so so talented, and she also knows me well enough to make sure I look like me, just like the best possible version of me! Liv also happens to be an incredibly awesome milliner/accessories designer. Originally I planned on having her re-work my Mum's veil into something for me, but a slight hiccup occurred in that actually, it was destroyed when my parent's house was flooded 10 years ago and we all just sort of forgot. So now I'm on to plan B, and just have to come up with something that Liv can make me that is new!

Photos copyright to Donna Craddock of ClickClick Bang Photography

Before Stu and I were engaged, we went to a fake festival, and we bumped into Donna of ClickClick Bang Photography. I introduced her to Stu as the woman who would photograph our wedding if we ever got married. I've met Donna a handful of times in person, but have followed her online for years, and consider her an internet friend. Her wedding photography really speaks to me. She has this ability to capture all those happy moments, but also has such vision that she uses the environment about her i ways most people couldn't even dream of. Your wedding photography will be something you look at for the rest of your lives, make sure you book a truly kick ass photographer like we have! We booked our wedding around Donna's availability. Be prepared to do that if you truly want the best.

Alivya V Free in Katmaren Clothing photographed by me.

I am incredibly lucky to have a Dad who is paying for my wedding dress for me. This meant I could do something all brides dream of... I could design my dress myself. And I knew the woman for the job was Kitty of Katmaren Clothing. I have been able to photograph Kitty's stunning designs on several occasions, and have always been blown away by their detailing and structure. She also happens to be Alivya's sister! When I started giving her my ideas, she ran away with them and has developed them into something that I just cannot wait to wear.

Jewellery by Celia Rose Jewellery.

When I discovered that Celia was making incredible silver jewellery I was so excited. I went to secondary school with Celia then sort of lost contact with her, and rediscovered her when my company did a delivery to her house! So bizarre. She made me a truly stunning bangle for my birthday, and seemed the logical choice to make our wedding rings too! To be able to use someone local, who I've also known for about 16 years, is pretty damn awesome. It'll make our rings even more special.

I know we will be using other small businesses and individuals too, but these are the ones I can share! What are your favourite small companies?

Much Love,
Kitty xxxx

PS. Don't forget to check out my newest YouTube video!